October 26 - 27, 2019

Emily Carr University
520 East 1st Avenue
Vancouver, Canada

Terabyte Sponsor

Creative BC

Megabyte Sponsors

Animal Logic Entertainment

Capilano University

Kilobyte Sponsors

Bron Animation


Warner Animation Group

Centre for Digital Media

Vancouver Film School

MPC Film

Emily Carr University

Byte Sponsors

Ziva Dynamics


Arcana Studio

Bardel Entertainment

Campbell River Creative Industries Council


Ambassade de France



Women in Animation

Alliance Partner


October 26 - 27, 2019


Want to be a part of what's exciting in the world of animation today? Then the SPARK ANIMATION Conference is your perfect opportunity to learn from the greatest directors, designers and animators in animation. The Conference will feature panels, presentations and workshops highlighting the making of some of the most highly anticipated films this year. Yes, the Conference is your best chance to learn from some of the very best in the world. Come join us and make SPARK your place to learn, experience, and grow in your knowledge and love of all things animated.


Conference Passes are available for only $225 ea, but act quickly before they're gone! Group rate available for advanced purchase. Click on the "Online Reservations" button above, and be on your way to jolt your creativity!

What's included?

  • Access to conference sessions
  • Boxed lunch from Mix the Bakery
  • Priority access to Career Fair
  • Stand-by admission to Film Festival screenings
  • Taxes and fees


Due to popular demand, we are introducing a limited supply of advanced single tickets for only $25 ea (incl. taxes and fees). Tickets will be available for pick-up one hour before each session. Group rate advailable for advanced purchase.


Here are some of the confirmed guests for 2019:


Bonnie Arnold
DreamWorks Animation

Chris Buck
Walt Disney Animation

Sergio Pablos
CEO, Creative Director
The SPA Studios

Bill Plympton
Director, Animator
Bill Plympton Studio

Karen Toliver
EVP, Creative
Sony Pictures Animation

Glen Keane
Animator, Director
Glen Keane Productions

And many many more...


8:00 amITEM
9:00 amTRACK 1
Moderator: David Burgess with Bonnie Arnold, Chris Buck, Glen Keane, Kevin Lima & Sergio Pablos
9:00 amTRACK 2
Moderator: Rose-Ann Tisserand with Fonda Snyder
10:45 amTRACK 1
Moderator: Zoe Cranley with Chris Buck
10:45 amTRACK 2
Moderator: Warren Franklin with Laura Brousseau & Patricia Atchison
12:30 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Zoe Cranley with Karen Toliver & Matthew A. Cherry
12:30 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Amy Moorcroft with Felicity Staunton & Jonathan Hludzinski
2:15 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Colin Giles with Michael Kurinsky
2:15 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Mindy Johnson with Don Iwerks & Leslie Iwerks
4:00 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Marcin Jakubowski, Sergio Pablos & Szymon Biernacki
4:00 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Aaron Gilman with Florian Perinelle
5:45 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Jeff Chiba Stearns with Bill Plympton
5:45 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Rose-Ann Tisserand with Amanda Konkin, Jen Davreux, Kaitlin Sutherland, Maisha Moore & Stephanie Blakey
10:00 amTRACK 1
Moderator: Sue Rowe with Jose Velasquez & Meg Park
10:00 amTRACK 2
Moderator: Amy Tang with Doron Mayer (Meir)
11:45 amTRACK 1
Moderator: Aaron Gilman with Robert Russ
11:45 amTRACK 2
Moderator: Marina Antunes with Mindy Johnson
1:30 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Colin Giles with Helen Ahlberg, Rob Lodermeier, Samantha Tan & Teunis de Raat
1:30 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Jeff Chiba Stearns with Ann Marie Fleming, Bill Plympton, Kat Alioshin, Marv Newland & Shirley Vercruysse
3:15 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Rick Mischel with David Sacks & Olan Rogers
3:15 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Robert Valley
5:00 pmTRACK 1
Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Bill Plympton, Danny Antonucci, Kat Alioshin & Marv Newland
5:00 pmTRACK 2
Moderator: Amy Moorcroft with Carlos Rosas


Saturday - October 26, 9:00 AM

Moderator: David Burgess with Bonnie Arnold, Chris Buck, Glen Keane, Kevin Lima & Sergio Pablos

The team who brought the animated classic to life ‘swings’ into the Spark Animation Conference to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the film came to be! Guests include directors Chris Buck (Frozen 2) and Kevin Lima (Enchanted); animators Glen Keane, Sergio Pablos, and producer Bonnie Arnold. Moderated by animator David Burgess.



Tarzan © 1999 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 9:00 AM
Presented by Alchemy Ink
Moderator: Rose-Ann Tisserand with Fonda Snyder

This talk is about the guidelines for pitching worldwide for TV and feature animation from someone who has sold both TV and feature animation to almost every major studio and network, has been both a buyer and seller/producer.



© Alchemy Ink, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 10:45 AM
Presented by Walt Disney Animation
Moderator: Zoe Cranley with Chris Buck

Join Academy Award-winning Director Chris Buck (Frozen, Tarzan) as he shares footage from the upcoming Walt Disney Animations Studios' Frozen 2 and a look behind-the-scenes.



Frozen 2 © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 10:45 AM
Presented by Cinesite
Moderator: Warren Franklin with Laura Brousseau & Patricia Atchison

Cinesite artists were tasked with adapting the kooky clan beloved by fans worldwide into animated form, introducing The Addams Family to a whole new generation on the big screen. They will discuss the challenges faced and creative choices made around the design, animation and technology in the making of the Addams Family and share some project highlights and fun anecdotes.


Addams Family

© 2019 MGM. The Addams Family™ Tee & Charles Addams Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 12:30 PM
Presented by Sony Pictures Animation
Moderator: Zoe Cranley with Karen Toliver & Matthew A. Cherry

Join the filmmakers for a screening and behind-the-scenes look at the making of Hair Love, a touching animated short film about an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Hair Love is a collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation that was launched by director Matthew A. Cherry as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 with a fundraising goal of $75,000. Strong support led to the campaign amassing nearly $300,000, making it the most highly-funded short film campaign in Kickstarter history.


Addams Family

Hair Love © 2019 Sony Pictures Animation. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 12:30 PM
Presented by Animal Logic Entertainment
Moderator: Amy Moorcroft with Felicity Staunton & Jonathan Hludzinski

How do you adapt the story of Peter Rabbit for modern audiences while keeping the integrity of such a beloved property? Take a deep dive into the development process with Development & Production Executives, Jonathan Hludzinski and Felicity Staunton from Animal Logic Entertainment. Hear lessons learnt while securing the rights to a 100-year-old franchise, how they crafted the story with Sony Pictures and the film’s success which has led to a sequel.

Jonathan and Felicity will also share a sneak peak of what’s next for the passionate team of storytellers.


Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit & all associated characters™ & © Frederick Warne & Co Limited.
Peter Rabbit™, the Movie ©2018 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 2:15 PM
Presented by Warner Animation Group
Moderator: Colin Giles with Michael Kurinsky

For 50 years Scooby-Doo has been imagined and re-imagined, with no two shows looking exactly alike. In SCOOB!, the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure, he and the Mystery Inc. gang get an updated look in a fully animated 3-D feature. Production Designer Michael Kurinsky will share how the team is bringing the beloved 2-D characters into the 3-D world — making them feel fresh for a new generation of Scooby-Doo fans.



© 2019 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.
"Scooby-Doo" & all related indicia are trademarks & copyright of Hanna-Barbera Productions

Saturday - October 26, 2:15 PM

Moderator: Mindy Johnson with Don Iwerks & Leslie Iwerks

Ub Iwerks, an extraordinary animator, the designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse spent 30 years creating ground-breaking inventions and processes for the Walt Disney Studio, Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Ub’s son Don and granddaughter Leslie will share many of his inventions and experiences in working personally with Walt Disney.



Walt Disney's Ultimate Inventor: The Genius of Ub Iwerks © 2019 Disney Editions. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 4:00 PM
Presented by Netflix Animation & The SPA Studios
Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Marcin Jakubowski, Sergio Pablos & Szymon Biernacki

Join us for this very special presentation as director Sergio Pablos along with production designers Marcin Jakubowski, Szymon Biernacki share the ten-year journey of bringing Klaus, Pablos' passion project to life. Fully 2D animated, Pablos' goal was "not to bring traditional 2d animation back, but to bring it forward." This will also be Netflix' first original animated feature and a presentation you will not want to miss.



Klaus © 2019 Netflix US, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 4:00 PM
Presented by LAIKA Entertainment
Moderator: Aaron Gilman with Florian Perinelle

For lovers of hand-crafted animation, this is a must-see, as stop-motion animator Florian Perinelle highlights how LAIKA Studios elevated this 120 year-old art form into the future by embracing computer technology. From Coraline to Missing Link, Perinelle will go through the evolution of techniques and tools they use, not only to bring the characters to life, but also to set them in a coherent and believable world. Bring on the puppets!!


Missing Link

Missing Link – Courtesy of LAIKA Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 5:45 PM
Presented by Plympton Studios
Moderator: Jeff Chiba Stearns with Bill Plympton

If you’re not already familiar with Oscar-nominated animator, cartoonist, director, writer, and producer Bill Plympton, chances are you’ve seen his work and just don’t know it. Bill’s humorous illustrations and cartoons have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, he’s created commercials for companies like Taco Bell, Geico, and Microsoft and segments for MTV and The Simpsons, and he’s made more than 40 animated shorts and seven feature-length films.

In this presentation Bill speaks about the history of his career in animation, shows examples of his work (both in video form as well as through live drawings on stage), and shares the insight that he’s gained from working in the animation industry for decades.

All attending will receive a free sketch and autograph.



Cheatin' © Bill Plympton. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday - October 26, 5:45 PM
Presented by WIA Vancouver
Moderator: Rose-Ann Tisserand with Amanda Konkin, Jen Davreux, Kaitlin Sutherland, Maisha Moore & Stephanie Blakey

The landscape for opportunity has notably shifted for Vancouver's women in animation. Five women, in the credited roles of Writer, Producer, Director, Animation Director and Art Director have made their own film from script to screen. Join WIA Vancouver and Women in View as we chat with these five women on their experiences in making their film, owning the credit and owning their company. Come watch the film, The Butterfly Affect, and discover their plans moving forward with the film and their future. Also to be discussed will be the plans for next year’s initiative.

The Five in Focus initiative is providing game-changing opportunities and is only possible with the support of our sponsors and partners: TELUS Storyhive, Creative BC, Microsoft, Telefilm Canada, CMPA BC Producers Branch, ToonBoom, Autodesk, Boughton Law, The Research House, NFB and Spark CG Society.


5 in View

The Butterfly Affect © 2019 Spectacle Five Films. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday - October 27, 10:00 AM
Presented by Walt Disney Animation
Moderator: Sue Rowe with Jose Velasquez & Meg Park

How do visual development and look development artists collaborate to achieve the look of appealing characters? Join Meg Park, Character Designer, and Jose Velasquez, Look Development Artist, as they share their approach to realizing characters, costumes and grooms in the animated filmmaking process.



Frozen 2 © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 10:00 AM

Moderator: Amy Tang with Doron Mayer (Meir)

Working in animation is one of the most creative and fulfilling careers in existence. Still, like any other job, it also has a practical side — deadlines, schedules and budgets. How do you keep production happy, while protecting your own creative flow and professional standards? Animation director Doron Mayer (Meir), author of Workflow: A Practical Guide to the Creative Process, presents and demonstrates a workflow that combines structure and chaos — logic and intuition — control and flow. It's an approach that reduces stress, increases focus, and helps you stay on top of things without sacrificing your creativity.



Workflow: A Practical Guide to the Creative Process © 2019 Doron Mayer. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 11:45 AM
Presented by Pixar Animation
Moderator: Aaron Gilman with Robert Russ

It's been 25 years since Toy Story first burst into our consciousness, changing feature animation forever. In this presentation, Animation Supervisor Robert Russ looks back at the technical and artistic advancements made, not only in creating the beloved Pixar trilogy, but the creative challenges that lead to making Toy Story 4. This presentation will feature a lot of eye candy.



Toy Story 4 © 2019 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 11:45 AM
Moderator: Marina Antunes with Mindy Johnson

From story artists who shaped the Silly Symphonies and Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, to animators during wartime to inkers and painters who defined the artistry of Disney Animation, explore the inspiring stories of some of the talented artists whose remarkable contributions forever changed the animated art form and so much more! Join award-winning author/historian Mindy Johnson (Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation and 2019 AMPAS Film Scholar Award-Winner) as she unveils her latest game-changing volume celebrating twenty trailblazing women who transformed our world through animation and beyond!



Pencils, Pens & Brushes © 2019 Disney Press. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 1:30 PM
Presented by Netflix Animation & BRON Animation
Moderator: Colin Giles with Helen Ahlberg, Rob Lodermeier, Samantha Tan & Teunis de Raat

Following how The Willoughbys first came to BRON Animation and how we faced the challenge of a 'blank page' in developing the Animation and FX Animation styles for the film.



The Willoughbys © 2019 Netflix US, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 1:30 PM

Moderator: Jeff Chiba Stearns with Ann Marie Fleming, Bill Plympton, Kat Alioshin, Marv Newland & Shirley Vercruysse

Animation is one of the most misunderstood art forms to ever exist. For many documentarians wanting to include animation in their documentaries, it can be an extremely confusing landscape to navigate. For animators asked to create animation for these documentaries, many questions can arise; How much do I charge, what technique should I use and how long will it take? These are just a few of the questions that can challenge animators. Documentarians unfamiliar with this elusive art form will often request cheap production costs and quick turn around in order to stay within budget and meet last minute deadlines. Therefore, this partnership becomes a delicate dance between the animator and documentary director. Also with the rise in the short form ani-doc (animated documentaries), many animation filmmakers are using this creative outlet to help tell real life stories that are often stranger than fiction! This panel will discuss what steps animators can take when creating animation for documentaries and how to best work with documentarians asking for help to bring their subjects’ stories to life.



© Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 3:15 PM
Presented by Adult Swim
Moderator: Rick Mischel with David Sacks & Olan Rogers

Authentic and funny, comedian actor Olan Rogers is a perfect example of how hard work and weathering hard times pays off in the end. Originally created by Rogers as a seven-minute pilot on youtube, Final Space has now become the breakout animated comedy on Adult Swim. Join us as the Master Commander Olan Rogers and co-writer and executive producer David Sacks (Pig Goat Banana Cricket) take us through the development and challenges of writing and producing a TV series, from pitch to pilot to production.


Final Space

Final Space © 2019 Adult Swim. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 3:15 PM
Presented by Netflix Animation
Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Robert Valley

Oscar-nominated animator Robert Valley (Pear Cider & Cigarettes) will provide insights on how the shorts-selection process for Love, Death & Robots came about, how they ended up adapting Zima Blue, and just how long it took to settle on a design (and a specific colour) for the title character. This is a must for fans of sci-fi animation.



Love, Death + Robots: Zima Blue © 2019 Netflix US, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday - October 27, 5:00 PM

Moderator: Keith Blackmore with Bill Plympton, Danny Antonucci, Kat Alioshin & Marv Newland

Animation historian Jerry Beck once said, “Spike & Mike came from nowhere with nothing and created a market where none existed.” Two hippie-punks, Spike & Mike, created a family, bringing together animators from all over the globe. Spike & Mike cultivated a one-of-a-kind festival that launched the careers of today animation legends. Reminding us that no matter how weird we might be, there is always a place we belong. You will hear from a few of the animators that had their short work featured in the Spike & Mike festival.

Screening of the documentary Animation Outlaws will play at the festival later that evening.



Animation Outlaws © 2019

Sunday - October 27, 5:00 PM
Presented by DNEG
Moderator: Amy Moorcroft with Carlos Rosas

Carlos Rosas, DNEG Animation Supervisor, will speak about the remaining 10% of the animation process that we often neglect in our work. A complex creature performance becomes all the more believable when we take the time to consider the myriad fine details that elevate an animation from acceptable to exceptional. In this 75 minute workshop, Carlos will show us how to think about "the final 10%" of our animation as well as present many examples from past projects where embracing this fundamental phase elevates the level of quality in the work we do.



MIB: International © 2019 CTMG. All Rights Reserved.


Aaron Gilman
Animation Supervisor // DNEG
(Avatar, Pacific Rim Uprising, Iron Man 3, Tin Tin)

With 20 years of animation experience, Aaron Gilman is Head of Animation as well as an Animation Director at DNEG in Vancouver, having recently completed work on Togo for Walt Disney Pictures. Prior to this, Aaron served as Director of Animation on one of the biggest projects in DNEG's history — the earth-shaking Pacific Rim Uprising — and supervised animation on the prehistoric action drama Alpha.

Aaron's considerable career achievements include several nominations for his work on Hollywood blockbusters, culminating in an Annie Award nomination for his leadership of the animation of Azog, the fearsome King of the Orcs in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He also received two award nominations for his expert supervisory work on Iron Man 3.

Before joining DNEG, Aaron was a long-time senior animator and supervisor at Weta Digital, where he was an integral part of major projects such as Iron Man 3, all three Hobbit films, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip, Avatar and The Avengers (2012). Aaron studied animation at the Vancouver Film School. His rich and varied experience and contributions to highly significant shows mark him as a major talent, passionately dedicated to creative storytelling solutions, and a crucial member of the DNEG team.

Amanda Konkin
Production Manager // Rainmaker Entertainment
(H.appiness, The Butterfly Affect, Reboot: The Guardian Code, Surf’s up 2: WaveMania)

Amanda Konkin has a masters degree from the University of British Columbia, and after a decade producing in theatre and digital media, she transitioned into Film and Television in 2013. In the spring of 2015, Amanda co-produced a Leo-nominated TV series for OUTtv called The Switch (2016), the world’s first transgender sitcom. She also produced the short films Dude, Where’s My Ferret? (2015) and Singer Sisters (2016), as well as the Storyhive award-winning webseries pilot Silk (2015). In early 2019, Amanda produced the short film Ada as part of Vancouver’s prestigious Crazy 8s Film Making event and is set to produce the short film, H.appiness, recipient of the national Harold Greenburg Shorts-to-Features Grant, later this year. In addition to her current role as Producer for Women in View and Women in Animation’s Five in Focus program, Amanda is a Production Manager in animation at Rainmaker Studios, a Division of WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. She previously worked as associate production manager on the Netflix original series Reboot: The Guardian Code (2018) and as a production coordinator on Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania (Sony, 2017).

Amy Moorcroft
Recruiter // Industrial Light & Magic

From childhood, Amy has always known she would work in film and following her degree in Cinematography, Photography and Television Studies, Amy has been supporting this industry through the recruitment of top class talent. Since 2011, Amy has recruited for The Third Floor Visualization, Mikros Animation on Sherlock Gnomes, as well numerous TV and advertising companies.

Amy's love of nature and all things North America brought her to Vancouver in 2017, where she joined DNEG, recruiting for both their VFX features and TV projects. In May 2019, Amy joined her dream company: Industrial Light & Magic, and has been hiring the finest talent for Terminator: Dark Fate, as well as unannounced projects...

A confessed fan of the industry, Amy has been supportive of our community as an organizer for Renderman User Group events, in attendance of VES seminars and meet-ups, and has joined Spark in August 2019 as a volunteer.

Amy Tang
Supervising Producer // Mainframe Studios

AmyAmy Tang, a Supervising Producer at Mainframe Studios, Co-Chair of Mainframe Studios Culture Club, proud volunteer on the leadership team for Spark CG Society. Even though the recent years have been more quiet than the past, as part of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Animation Network, more than ever, it is important for Amy to evoke strong community connections to help the Vancouver CG industry grow and thrive.

Amy’s ability to maintain a grass-roots and organic yet structured approach, along with a loud voice and active energy, compliments the teams she oversees and events she helps organize and run.

Ann Marie Fleming
Writer, Producer, Director, Animator // Stickgirl Productions
(Window Horses, The French Guy, I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam)
Ann Marie

Vancouver-based Ann Marie Fleming has been making award-winning independent animated, documentary fiction and hybrid films for over 30 years, several with the collaboration of the NFB. Her 2016 animated feature, Window Horses, won best animated feature at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Best Canadian Film at VIFF. Her animated doc, You Take Care Now (1989) is on the TIFF Essential Cinema list for top 10 Canadian short films of all time. She created her latest animated doc, a portrait of LGBTQ+ activist sisters and pop icons Tegan & Sara for the Governor General's Awards in 2018. Her graphic novel adaptation of her feature length animated doc, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (2003), was nominated for two Eisner Awards and won the Doug Wright Award for best Canadian Comic (2008). Ann Marie created the Animasian Award at Toronto's Reel Asian Film Festival, which celebrates Asian Canadian animated filmmakers.

Bill Plympton
Director, Writer, Animator // Bill Plympton Studio
(Slide, Guard Dog, Idiots & Angels, Your Face)

BillThe recipient of the 2023 Spark Lifetime Achievement Award, Bill Plympton is considered the King of Indie Animation, and was the first person to hand draw an entire animated feature film.

Bill moved to New York City from Portland, Oregon, in 1968 and began his career creating cartoons for publications such as New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy and Screw. In 1987, he was nominated for an Oscar® for his animated short Your Face. In 2005, Bill received another Oscar® nomination, this time for his short Guard Dog.

After producing many shorts that appeared on MTV and Spike and Mike’s, he turned his talent to feature films. Since 1991, he’s made eleven feature films including The Tune, Mondo Plympton, I Married a Strange Person, Mutant Aliens, Hair High, Idiots and Angels, Cheatin', and Revengeance.

Bill Plympton has also collaborated with Madonna, Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic on a number of music videos, and he's created numerous commissioned ads for Geico, Trivial Pursuit, Ford, Nike and Taco Bell. In 2006, he received the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from The Annie Awards. Bill also animated eight opening "couch gags" for FOX-TV's The Simpsons and six Trump Bites shorts using real audio from Donald Trump, which won a 2019 Webby Award.

Most recently, Bill was awarded the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award by unanimous vote of the National Cartoonists Society, Board of Directors. It is given for a lifetime of outstanding and accomplished work by a cartoonist.

Bonnie Arnold
Producer // DreamWorks Animation
(How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, Over the Hedge, Tarzan, Toy Story)

A leading force in imaginative storytelling, Bonnie Arnold is a prolific film producer whose work spans myriad genres, and appeals to multiple generations. Arnold is a Golden Globe winner and produced the Academy Award-nominated films How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2. She is a producer on How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, released worldwide earlier this, and is developing a film adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s new book series, The Wizards of Once. Additional producing credits include Pixar’s landmark movie, Toy Story, Disney’s Tarzan, and Academy Award-winning Dances With Wolves.

Carlos Rosas
Animation Supervisor // DNEG

Carlos Rosas is one of DNEG’s very talented Animation Supervisors with over 20 years of extensive experience in VFX Animation and Feature Animation, having a part of some of the most landmark creature and character animation films in history.

Since early 2016, he has played an essential part in pushing the technical boundaries in DNEG’s Feature Animation Division, helping structure and create the foundations of that new enterprising discipline for DNEG. He recently served as Animation Supervisor on 2019’s Men in Black: International and is currently working on a highly anticipated next installment of a popular franchise.

Over the years Carlos has worked for several major VFX houses like Weta Digital, DreamWorks Animation and Framestore. At Weta Digital, he was a part of the triple VFX Oscar-winning team that brought Gollum and the Lord of the Rings trilogy to our screens. He also started his career with the cutting-edge and critically-acclaimed Walking with Dinosaurs series at Framestore.

As well as stellar VFX animation achievements, he also excelled in Feature Animation with fantastic work on the Shrek series, How to Train your Dragon and Madagascar.

His undeniable achievements across both industries make him a rare and talented Animation Supervisor that can bring excellent detail in every field, and for any character or creature.

Since graduating from Nene University in Art and Design in 1990, Carlos has enjoyed a highly successful career, comprising work on over 20 films at the highest level.

Chris Buck
Director // Walt Disney Animation
(Frozen 2, Frozen, Surf’s Up, Tarzan)

Chris Buck (Director) and Jennifer Lee helmed Frozen, the highest-grossing animated feature ever released with more than $1.27 billion in global box office. The film has received multiple honours, including two Academy Awards®, the Golden Globe®, BAFTA® Award, PGA Award, five Annie Awards and two Grammy® Awards. The digital and Blu-ray/DVD release was one of the biggest home entertainment successes of the last decade becoming the most popular Blu-ray in U.S. history. Frozen’s triple Platinum soundtrack, featuring the Oscar®-winning song Let It Go, spent 33 weeks in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Buck returned to the director’s chair alongside Lee in 2015 with the theatrical short Frozen Fever. Buck, Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho team up again for Frozen 2, slated for theatres Nov. 22, 2019.

Buck made his directing debut on the 1999 Disney animated blockbuster Tarzan, and is back at the helm (along with director Jennifer Lee) for the new 2013 animated adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Buck began his professional career with Disney in 1978, and has made important contributions as an animator, supervising animator, character designer and director. His other feature directing credit is on the Oscar®-nominated 2007 film Surf’s Up from Sony Pictures Animation.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Buck studied character animation for two years at CalArts before launching his career at Disney as an animator on the 1981 animated feature The Fox & the Hound. He received an animation credit on a short film Fun with Mr. Future and did some early experimental work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

From 1984-92, Buck worked on a variety of freelance assignments, including several for Disney. Joining creative forces with director Tim Burton, Buck helped storyboard Disney’s 1984 live-action featurette Frankenweenie. He went on to animate commercials for such Los Angeles-based production entities as Film Fair, Kurtz & Friends and Duck Soup. He also served as a directing animator (teamed again with Burton) on the 1993 Family Dog episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, which was directed by Brad Bird. Buck served as director of the subsequent 13 half-hour episodes of the animated series. Buck helped design characters for Disney’s 1989 animated blockbuster The Little Mermaid, and performed similar duties as well as experimental animation for The Rescuers Down Under. This was followed by a stint at Hyperion Pictures, where he helped develop several films and served as a directing animator on the feature Bebe’s Kids.

Colin Giles
Head of Animation & VFX // Vancouver Film School
(Sausage Party, Dan Vs., Thomas & Friends)

Colin Giles is the Head of the VFS School of Animation & VFX, bringing over 22 years of professional experience as a Director, Animator, and Creative Designer. Colin's work in animation and storytelling has allowed him the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the industry, including: Disney Interactive, Cartoon Network, Ford Motor Co., The NBA and Starbucks, to name a few. When he's not busy inspiring new artists in the classroom, he's active on many popular industry projects like Dan Vs, Robotboy, and the 2D Sequences in Seth Rogen's animated hit Sausage Party. In 2017, Colin was an official speaker at TEDx Vancouver and has delivered workshops and keynotes in Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Los Angeles and across Canada.

Danny Antonucci
Founder // A.K.A. Cartoons Inc.

At the age of 15, Danny’s path was set in stone creating and animated his first short film, The Adventures of Barfman. After attending Sheridan College Danny immediately started his career as a Key Animator on Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and the motion picture, Heavy Metal.

Shortly thereafter Danny headed back to Vancouver where he joined the small independent studio, International Rocketship Ltd. During this period, Antonucci animated, created and directed award-winning commercials for such clients as Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Levi’s and MTV Networks. Danny then shocked the world with his now cult classic, Lupo the Butcher. Lupo would go on to great acclaim at festivals and spawn a whole new genre of animation for adults. In fact, Guns N’ Roses would screen Lupo at the close of their concerts for 2 years on the Use Your Illusion tour.

On April 1st, 1994, Danny founded A.K.A. Cartoon Inc., an animation production studio with a mandate to preserve the passion of artist-driven, cartoon making. In it’s first year, the studio created and produced 45 seven-minute episodes of the now infamous television series, The Brothers Grunt for MTV Networks. Also Including, a string of award-winning commercials for such clients as Converse, MTV, and ESPN.

On a dare to create a kid’s TV show, Danny created, Ed, Edd n Eddy, (1999). Airing on Cartoon Network, it would become the network’s highest-rated, longest-running series with 130 episodes, 3 specials and a 90-minute television feature, seen in 180 countries with an audience of 30+ million households throughout the world.

Bloodied but unbowed, Danny Antonucci continues to push the boundaries of television animation.

David Burgess
Animation Supervisor // Animal Logic
(DC League of Super Pets, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Trolls, Turbo, Megamind, Tarzan, The Lion King)

Dave BurgessDave has almost three decades of experience in the animation industry, working on some of the most iconic 2D and CGI animated films of our time. Dave is the Animation Supervisor at Animal Logic’s Vancouver studio, where he was the Animation Director on DC League of Super-Pets and the Animation Supervisor on The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.

In 1991, Dave started at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he was an animator and supervising animator on many of their most successful 2D films, including Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and Tarzan.

In 2001, he switched his pencil for a computer and started at PDI/DreamWorks, working as an animator, supervising animator and head of character animation. His credits during this time include Shrek 2, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Megamind and Trolls.

Dave graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver with Honours in Animation.

David Sacks
Producer, Writer // Adult Swim
(Final Space, The Simpsons, Regular Show, The Tick)

David Sacks is currently executive producing Final Space for Adult Swim — a prime time, animated sci-fi serialized comedy action adventure which he developed for television with Olan Rogers.

Born and raised in New York City, David Sacks attended Harvard College, where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon.

Among the shows Sacks has worked for are The Simpsons, where he won an Emmy Award, Third Rock from the Sun where he won a Golden Globe Award, the original live action Tick, and Regular Show. He created, Lewis Black's: The Root of All Evil which featured weekly match ups like Disney vs. Scientology, in a quest to find the most evil thing in the world.

In addition, Sacks does a weekly podcast on iTunes called Spiritual Tools for an Outrageous World based on ideas drawn from science, psychology, and Jewish Mystical thought. He is invited to speak around the world.

Don Iwerks

Don began his career at Walt Disney Studios in the 1950’s, where he distinguished himself behind the scenes for over 35 years. Don’s many responsibilities included being Manager and General Foreman of the Camera Service Department.

A keen mechanic, inventor and innovator, Don worked alongside his father Ub Iwerks on a multitude of projects for the Disney Studio. These included the Xerox system for 101 Dalmations, the sodium-traveling matte, as used on Mary Poppins, and many other developments, including projectors, cameras, lenses and film storage systems that were used in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland.

Many of their inventions, such as the optical printer and multiplane camera are now on permanent display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

Don retired from Disney in 1986 to co-found Iwerks Entertainment with Disney Vice-President Stan Kinsey. After 15 years and more than 250 installations world-wide, Don retired from his company to pursue his personal hobbies and interests.

In 1997, Don was honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his contributions to the film industry. In 2007, Don joined his father Ub, being named a “Disney Legend” by the Walt Disney Company.

This December, Don commemorates his father’s career, with a highly-anticipated book entitled, Walt Disney’s Ultimate Inventor: The Genius of Ub Iwerks. It highlights the many technical contributions that Ub made to the Studio, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World.

Doron Mayer (Meir)
Animator Director, Storyteller, Writer // The Workflow Training Studio
(The Secret Life of Pets, My Little Pony: The movie, Hitman: Blood Money, Asterix & the Vikings)

Doron Mayer is an animation director, storyboard artist, writer, designer and illustrator. Throughout his journey of 25 years through multiple creative fields and industries, he has been obsessed with finding and developing effective workflow methods. Doron has given presentations and workshops around the world, and his video courses have been watched by more than 8,000 people. His book, Workflow: A Practical Guide to the Creative Process, was published in 2018 by CRC Press.

Felicity Staunton
VP Development & Production // Animal Logic Entertainment
(Peter Rabbit)

As VP Development & Production, Felicity splits her time as a creative producer across films in active production while developing a slate of over 20 ALE projects set up at major Hollywood studios including Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Sony.

Florian Perinelle
Lead Stop-Motion Animator // LAIKA
(Missing Link, Kubo & the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman)

Florian Perinelle is Lead Animator at LAIKA, an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films, based in Oregon. His passion for the craft has led him to work on many projects throughout his career, including eight feature films around Europe and the United States. In addition to his work as a full-time animator, he relishes mentoring up-and-coming junior animators. Florian was an animator on the last four films at LAIKA, including the BAFTA Award-winning Kubo & the Two Strings. Currently, he is working on Film 6 for the studio.

Contrary to gloomy predictions, Florian finds that technological advancement has created new opportunities for stop-motion, expanding the form in innovative and exciting ways. He is thrilled to share these methods with his pupils and offer them ways to advance their skills quickly.

When not animating puppets, Florian loves to step into the fantasy worlds created by his two-year-old daughter.

Fonda Snyder
President // Alchemy Ink
(NY Times Bestselling Book; Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang, Kevin Costner’s The Explorer’s Guild, NY Times Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer’s series for PBS-Xavier Riddle & the Secret Museum, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Berke)

Recognized for her achievement in children’s entertainment, Fonda Snyder has developed and sold more than 50 projects worldwide for television networks and major feature film studios. With features in development at DreamWorks, Warner Bros, Sony and Fox and TV series at Disney Channel, PBS and Universal Kids Network, she currently serves as President of Alchemy Ink, Inc., representing authors and illustrators, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author-artist Berkeley Breathed, Hilary Duff, The Jim Henson Co. and Kevin Costner and brands such as Eloise, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Encyclopedia Brown, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Borrowers.

Snyder consults with entertainment companies, animation studios, producers, feature studios and networks to develop cross-platform, high concept animated and live action franchise oriented film and tv for sale worldwide. Snyder also consults with all major publishing companies to assess and create viability for their in-house authors books to be adapted to film/TV/ott/gaming.

Snyder recently served as Book Scout for Locksmith, Development Consultant for Sprout Network, Wind Dancer and 9 Story Entertainment and prior, VP Creative Development and Sales for Rainmaker Entertainment. While an Executive at Technicolor, Snyder created the business plan for and launched its IP division, selling numerous projects to major networks while also running Alchemy Ink, Inc. Previously, Snyder was VP, Original Movies for Disney Channel.

Early in her career, Snyder co-founded Storyopolis, a franchise oriented family entertainment company, encompassing production with a first look deal at Warner Bros. and Miramax-Dimension, book publishing, art gallery, exhibition space and retail outlet, financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Glen Keane
Director // Glen Keane Productions
(Dear Basketball, Duet, Tangled, The Little Mermaid)

A 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Glen Keane trained under Walt Disney’s 9 Old Men. Glen Keane went on to create many beloved Disney characters, such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Beast, Tarzan, and Rapunzel.

In 2012, Keane departed Disney to begin Glen Keane Productions as way to further his artistic explorations in animation, design and film. He has since gone on to collaborate with Google, the Paris Ballet, Riot Games, and Green Egg Media. His most recent project is the animated film Dear Basketball, which he animated and directed in collaboration with legends Kobe Bryant and John Williams.

He is currently directing Over the Moon in partnership with Pearl Studio and Netflix. The animated feature is due to be released in 2020.

Helen Ahlberg
FX Lead // BRON Animation
(The Willoughbys, Henchmen)

Helén Ahlberg is an FX artist emerged from the ruins of Gotland. She specializes in both 2D and 3D FX. Her journey started back home working as an artist for indie game studios Ludosity and Zoink. She then traveled across to Vancouver, where she ended up at BRON Animation for their first feature animated film Henchmen. She is now the FX Lead at BRON Animation working on Netflix’ upcoming animated feature The Willoughbys.

If not holding a pen in her hand or calculating simulations, you will most likely find her playing games and/or with her rabbit Goomba. You might occasionally smell some delightful culinary experiments from the kitchen, unless she is out exploring the beautiful BC coast on her bike.

Jeff Chiba Stearns
Producer, Director, Animator
(Mixed Match, One Big Hapa Family, Yellow Sticky Notes, Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam)

Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy-nominated and Webby award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker. After graduating from the Emily Carr University with a degree in Film Animation, he founded Vancouver-based boutique animation studio Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in 2001. From animated viral video ads and broadcast commercials for companies like Sharpie, 3M and Post-it Note, to short and feature films like What Are You Anyways? (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2010), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010), Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam (2013) and Mixed Match (2016) Jeff&rsqup;s work has broadcast around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals and garnered over 40 awards. Currently, Jeff published his first children’s book Mixed Critters and has plans to release a second book later this year.

Jen Davreux
Writer // Klei Entertainment
(Carmen Sandiego, The Hollow, MLP: Equestria Girls, My Little Pony)

Jen Davreux is a storyboard artist, independent comic artist and writer. Originally from a small town in the Okanagan, she developed a passion for drawing and storytelling at a young age, later moving out to Vancouver to pursue a career in animation. Her first self-published comic Astronaut + Alien debuted at VanCAF in 2015, and she currently co-writes an ongoing webcomic titled Go, Titan X!. She has been working in the story department of various animated shows for the past 6 years and has recently started writing for games.

Jonathan Hludzinski
EVP Development & Production // Animal Logic Entertainment
(Peter Rabbit)

Working in creative development and screenwriting for nearly two decades, Jonathan’s focus has always been on strong, emotional and entertaining storytelling, which he has continued at Animal Logic Entertainment. As EVP Development & Production, Jonathan has been instrumental in setting up and overseeing the development of animated and hybrid large scale film at Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount and Fox.

Jose Velasquez
Look Development Artist // Walt Disney Animation

Driven by a passion for graffiti and love of design, Jose gravitated to animation during his first year of college. In his current role as a Look Development Artist, Jose creates and applies textures to characters while also specializing in sculpting hair grooms.

Raised in a tightly-knit family in Zapata, Texas, Jose studied Visualization at Texas A&M University before interning at Pixar and launching a career as a graphic designer. He joined the studio as a Look Development Trainee in 2013, and has worked on films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet and the upcoming Frozen 2.

Jose lives in Southern California, where his interests include motorcycle mechanics, sign painting and illustration.

Kaitlin Sutherland
Assistant Director // WildBrain Studios
(LEGO Monkie Kid, Snoopy Presents:One-of-a-Kind-Marcie, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder)

KaitlinKaitlin Sutherland is an industry director living and creating in Vancouver, British Columbia. A graduate of Sheridan College, Kaitlin is currently working on a personal short film after having risen through the ranks from layout/posing artist to Assistant Director at WildBrain Studios. At WildBrain Kaitlin has overseen productions including LEGO Monkie Kid, The Snoopy Show, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, and most recently, Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie.

Kaitlin is inspired by the storytelling and art styles of French and Eastern animation. She wants to continue working with a motivated team on fun, creatively fulfilling projects while telling impactful stories.

Karen Toliver
EVP, Creative // Sony Pictures Animation
(Hair Love, Ferdinand, Rio, Ice Age series)

As executive vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation, Karen Toliver is responsible for the creative supervision of a number of upcoming features for the studio, from inception to script, and through production.

In her role, Toliver is also in charge of recruiting key storytelling talent, and discovering and acquiring new creative material and intellectual property aligned with Sony Pictures Animation’s vision including original concepts, books, comics, video games, shorts, websites, and toys.

Toliver is also the producer of the animated short film, Hair Love, directed by Matthew A. Cherry.

Toliver has extensive experience in production and development, including 10 years at Fox Animation where she supervised the production of the Rio film franchise and the latest three films in the Ice Age series, which grossed a combined $3.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Toliver also spearheaded the original feature Ferdinand, which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature.

Toliver served as a production executive at Walt Disney Animation Studios on films such as Brother Bear, Chicken Little, and Meet the Robinsons.

Toliver began her career as an assistant at Walt Disney Pictures working on the Mighty Ducks franchise.

Kat Alioshin
Producer, Director // Katorama
(Nightmare Before Christmas, James & the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride, Coraline, Mermaids on Mars)

Kat met Spike and Mike in 1985 while attending UCSD and was part of the publicity and ticket team. Kat has been working in stop-motion animation since 1991. Starting with Nightmare Before Christmas through Coraline in 2009. On James & the Giant Peach she was Assistant Director to Henry Selick. She was DP for live-action Some Divine Wind, which is now on permanent collection at NYMoMA. She received attention for Producing Life with Loopy on the Nickelodeon show KaBlam! Kat has been budgeting the stop-motion feature The Inventor by Jim Capobianco while working on the documentary. With fellow crew member, Todd Lookinland, she is creating a podcast called We Know Jack about the behind-the-scenes during Nightmare Before Christmas. She is passionate about all forms of animation but specializes in stop motion production.

Keith Blackmore
Producer // Spark CG Society

KeithVancouver-born and raised, Keith Blackmore is a passionate supporter for all things animated in the Vancouver area. A producer for the SPARK ANIMATION Festival, Keith has presented, interviewed and moderated at many festivals and studios. Most recently, he was on the Film Jury for the 2022 Taiwan International Student Design Competition, the largest student design competition around the world. Keith is also the host of the monthly Vancouver Civic Theatres’ film series, Silent Movie Mondays, at the opulent and historic Orpheum Theatre.

Besides his work with the Spark CG Society, Keith continues to educate and inspire students at the Vancouver Film School, in his weekly History of Animation classes.

Kevin Lima
Director // 'Twas Entertainment
(Enchanted, 102 Dalmatians, Tarzan, A Goofy Movie)

Kevin Lima (director) traces his fascination in animation to his fifth birthday when he received the book, Preston Blair’s Animation as a present. An early involvement in puppetry, inspired by his grandmother, led him to study acting and theatre design at Emerson College in Boston before enrolling in the California Institute of the Arts Animation Program.

After graduating, he took assignments designing characters and animating for the independently produced feature, The Brave Little Toaster, before joining Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987. For the next six years, Lima worked in one capacity or another on each of Disney’s next five animated features — animating on Oliver & Company, designing characters for The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty & the Beast and storyboarding sequences for Aladdin. In 1992, he was offered the director&rsqup;s chair on A Goofy Movie which led to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Tarzan.

In 2000, Lima made his live-action feature film debut with 102 Dalmatians which starred Glenn Close. He went on to direct Julie Andrews in the made-for-TV movies Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime for which his work on the latter won him the Director’s Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs. His film, Enchanted, released in 2007, was the culmination of all of Lima’s filmmaking experiences, containing a mixture of traditionally animated, live-action and computer generated characters.

Currently, Kevin is collaborating with his wife Brenda Chapman, the Academy Award-winning director of The Prince of Egypt and Brave, to form ‘Twas Entertainment, a production company that will concentrate on creating family entertainment in all formats — animation, live-action, hybrid, television and streaming.

Laura Brousseau
Head of Lighting // Cinesite Vancouver
(The Addams Family, Trollhunters, Sausage Party)

Laura has over 18 years of experience in the animation and film industry. She has worked in multiple disciplines, most in some way related to light and colour including surfacing, look development, lighting, compositing, cell painting, film transfer and colour correction. Now the Head of Lighting at Cinesite Vancouver, Laura oversees the lighting for each project working with an amazing team and a variety of software and tools. She is always aiming to produce a unique look for each show, pairing classic cinematography techniques with a modern and optimized approach to workflow. She enjoys and thrives in the balance between technical and creative work that is involved in the lighting process and takes her daily inspiration from her co-workers, favourite films and photographic work. Some of her favourite studio projects to date include The Addams Family, Sausage Party and Trollhunters. Laura is always up for a challenge and a chance to work on new and exciting projects!

Leslie Iwerks
Producer, Director // Iwerks & Co.
(The Imagineering Story, Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, The Pixar Story, The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story)

Leslie Iwerks is an Academy Award and Emmy-nominated director and producer. For over a decade, she has produced, directed, and edited award-winning feature and short documentaries, television specials, and digital content.

Her body of work encompasses documentary films (The Imagineering Story, Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table, The Pixar Story, Citizen Hearst, Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, Dirty Oil, The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story) to her acclaimed environmental and social issue short documentaries (Selling Lies, Recycled Life, Pipe Dreams, Downstream). Leslie has filmed on all seven continents, and her work has been shown theatrically and in festivals globally, and can be seen on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, HBO, National Geographic, Starz, CNBC, A&E’s Bio, among others.

Leslie is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Documentary Branch, the Producers Guild of America, the Television Academy, the International Documentary Association, and serves on the board of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Scientific and Technical Committee as well as the USC School of Cinema Television Alumni Council.

Maisha Moore
Development Art Director // Cinesite
(The Adams Family, Octonauts, Spy Kids Animated, Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania)

Maisha Moore is a Vancouver-based designer and illustrator. Maisha attended Capilano University for 3D animation and quickly found her way into Vancouver’s flourishing animation industry. In the early half of her career, she focused on CG modeling, shading and texturing going onto to lead and supervise various properties. Eventually seeking a new challenge, Maisha focused on delving into design. In recent years, she has gone onto designing everything from toy packaging to feature films. Maisha is currently specializing in feature development design and looking forward to many more years creating imaginative worlds and characters.

Marcin Jakubowski
Production Designer // The SPA Studios
(Klaus, Smallfoot)

Marcin Jakubowski is a visual development artist working currently as a production designer on Klaus at The SPA Studios. He introduced the 2D character lighting system that gives Klaus its unique look. As a self-taught digital painter he had to make his way up to feature animation through web design, educational illustration and TV commercials. In the last few years he has been involved in several story developments and he enjoys equally designing and contributing to the story.

Marina Antunes
President // Spark CG Society · Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH

MarinaMarina has been writing and discussing film for over 15 years, first on a personal blog, followed by a decade-long tenure on the now retired Row Three. In 2008, she joined the writing staff at Quiet Earth, becoming Editor-In-Chief in 2014, a role she still holds. Over the years, she has also produced and hosted a number of podcasts including Before the Dawn, a long-running podcast on the Twilight franchise, Girls on Pop, a podcast on film and popular entertainment from women’s perspective and After the Credits, bi-monthly film podcast with nearly 300 episodes.

Marina is a member of ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH, the Online Film Critics Society, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and the Visual Effects Society. She is the President of Spark CG Society and the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH chapter. She has also served on juries for several film festivals including DOXA, St. Louis International Film Festival, and the Whistler Film Festival. She joined the Spark CG Society in 2014.

Marv Newland
Founder // International Rocketship Ltd.
(Scratchy, CMYK, Postalolio, Tête-à-Tête-à-Tête)

Marv Newland began his animation career with the making of a crude, black and white animated short movie titled, Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969). In 1970, he moved to Toronto, Canada making television commercials and IDs for Film Design Ltd, Cinera & Crawley Films. In 1975, he founded the animated film production company International Rocketship Limited in Vancouver, Canada.

At Rocketship, he directed and produced television commercials, Ids and animated short films such as: Sing Beast Sing (1980), Anijam (1984), Black Hula (1988), Pink Komkommer (1991), Fuv (1999) and Postalolio (2008).

He produced The Butterfly (1982) directed by Dieter Mueller, Lupo the Butcher (1987) directed by Danny Antonucci and other animated short films.

In 1994, he directed Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side produced at International Rocketship which won the Annecy Grand Prix in 1995.

Matthew A. Cherry
Director, Writer, Producer
(Hair Love, The Last OG, BlacKkKlansman)

Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL player turner filmmaker from Chicago, IL. After retiring from the NFL, Matthew began working as a production assistant and music video director in Los Angeles. He wrote and directed two award-winning independent films, The Last Fall and 9 Rides as well as several short films. While pursuing a career in film, Matthew caught the attention of Jordan Peele, and shortly thereafter, he joined his production company Monkeypaw Productions as a creative executive. During his time at Monkeypaw, Matthew served as an EP of Spike Lee’s Oscar winning BlacKkKlansman and directed several television shows including The Last OG, The Red Line and Whiskey Cavalier. In 2017, Matthew launched a Kickstarter campaign for his animated short film Hair Love which raised over $287,000 USD making it the highest funded short film in Kickstarter history. Hair Love made its debut theatrical release in front of Angry Bird 2 in August 2019.

Meg Park
Character Designer // Walt Disney Animation

Inspired by a love of drawing and animated films, Meg’s lifelong passion for art led her to a role as a Character Designer on a project in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios. As a Character Designer, Meg works closely with the directors, production designer and art directors to help define the look of the characters in the film.

Born and raised in Scotland, Meg studied Animation at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. Along the way, she built upon her love for design as a children’s book illustrator, and has worked at studios such as Illumination, Google Spotlight Stories, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Simon & Schuster and Disney Publishing.

Meg lives in Southern California with her husband and two cats.

Michael Kurinsky
Production Designer // Warner Animation Group

Michael Kurinsky got his start in animation working on television commercials before getting hired at Walt Disney Feature Animation where he produced hand-painted backgrounds on such films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Atlantis, Fantasia 2000, Home on the Range, and Beauty & the Beast: Special Edition. After almost ten years there, Michael left to join Sony Pictures Animation to work on the studio’s first release, Open Season, as a visual development artist. Over his fourteen-year span there he also served as the art director on Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs and production designer on Hotel Transylvania 2. In late 2017, he left Sony when approached by Warner Animation Group to production design the first all CG version of Scooby-Doo. SCOOB! will hit theatres in May of 2020.

Mindy Johnson
Author, Historian, Educator // Mindy Johnson Creative
(Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation, Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls Guide to Disney Animation, Tinker Bell: An Evolution)

MindyAward-winning author, historian, filmmaker, educator, musician and more, Mindy Johnson’s creative accomplishments reflect the diversity of her talents and experience. A leading expert on women’s roles in animation and film history, Mindy writes and speaks on early cinema, animation, women’s history, and creativity.

A recipient of the prestigious ASIFA-Hollywood June Foray Award, given to individuals who've made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation. Mindy's honours also include the Academy Film Scholar Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences/, and the ASIFA-Hollywood AEF Grant for continued research and writing on the contributions of the earliest women within our collective animated past. With several forthcoming volumes underway, Mindy's groundbreaking discoveries continue to cast light on the invisible narrative of women’s presence within the first century of the motion picture industry. Her latest landmark breakthrough is the discovery of Bessie Mae Kelley and her surviving films believed to be the earliest surviving hand-drawn animation, animated and directed by a woman, forever busting the myth of women no longer present at the dawn of the animation industry.

A sought-after speaker, Mindy explores a wide range of subjects within her presentations and appearances at numerous studios, campuses, international festivals and conferences including: The Smithsonian Speakers Series, Ottawa International Animation Festival, NAFF Festival Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lucasfilm, DreamWorks, TCM Classic Film Festival, Film Forum-NYC, D23 Expo, ABC-Network Specials, San Diego Comi-Con, CTN Expo, World Animation Festival and more.

Mindy has produced record-breaking global campaigns, creative content, exhibitions and events for a growing list of clients, including The Walt Disney Company, AMPAS/, WNET/American Masters, Stage Nine Productions, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Spark CG Society, Film Forum-NYC, SiriusXM Radio, and Horipro Entertainment.

In addition to her continuing research, various literary efforts, and consulting, Mindy is also an award-winning playwright, songwriter, and contributing artist on several internationally acclaimed recordings and published compositions. Mindy teaches film and animation courses in the Los Angeles area, including a first-of-its-kind course on the history of women in animation, based on her continued ground-breaking research, at CalArts — California Institute of the Arts, in Los Angeles, and Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Olan Rogers
Creator, Producer, Writer // Star Cadet
(Final Space)

Olan Rogers is a relentlessly unconventional storyteller that has spent over 15 years making online videos. He's taken all that useless knowledge to the world of Televison in the form of the TBS/Adult Swim animated show Final Space. A show the Hollywood Reporter once said "would float off into space" instead it floated into people's hearts like an odd form of cholesterol.

Patricia Atchison
Production Designer // Cinesite Vancouver
(The Addams Family, Spy Kids: Mission Critical, My Little Pony: The Movie)

Patricia Atchison has over twenty years of experience in the industry. Graduating from Capilano University with fundamentals in 2D animation, Patricia's career has taken her from supervising layout and posing on popular 2D shows like Arthur and Caillou, to storyboarding for hit series like Pound Puppies and Thomas & Friends, to art direction and production design roles for Netflix and Mattel properties like Spy Kids and Barbie. Driven by the love of her craft and passion for creativity and collaboration, Patricia's latest endeavour has taken her knowledge and skills to the big screen as production designer for MGM's animated feature film, The Addam's Family.

Rick Mischel
CEO // Bardel Entertainment

Rick Mischel currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Bardel Entertainment, one of the world's leading animation studios and a part of the Rainbow Group of entertainment companies. Bardel is the animation studio for such projects as The Dragon Prince, 44 Cats, Rick & Morty and Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty. Prior to his role as CEO of Bardel, Mischel served as a Producer at Sony Pictures Animation, the Sony division behind such animated features as Hotel Transylvania and The Smurfs. Prior to his role as a Producer, Mischel served as Senior Vice President for Sony Pictures Imageworks. Mischel launched and managed the animation/vfx facility for Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver, BC, with work on such films as Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and The Smurfs.

Prior to his position at Sony, Mischel served as executive vice president of Technicolor. Previously, Mischel served as CEO of Mainframe Entertainment, a publicly-traded CGI animation studio specializing in television series, direct-to-video features, and gaming animation.

Before Mainframe, Mischel served as President and COO of the publicly-traded The Harvey Entertainment Company, home of some of the most lucrative intellectual properties in the family entertainment world, including Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Mischel also has produced such independent features films as Suicide Kings and The Specials.

Mischel began his career as an entertainment attorney with O'Melveny & Myers in 1987. Mischel holds a B.A. from Tufts University, an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Rob Lodermeier
Co-Director // BRON Animation

After conquering high school, Rob set out to complete a Neuroscience degree. A disagreement surrounding the comedic analogy of rat brains hitting the pavement prompted him to re-evaluate his aptitude. Luckily, the Vancouver Film School welcomed Rob into the 3D Animation and Visual Effects program. Since graduating he has been animating in the industry for over a decade, working at several studios: Nerd Corps, Bardel, Rainmaker, and Lucasfilm Singapore before coming to BRON in 2012. He has had many key roles, focusing not only on his animation skill set, but also on his ability to lead and motivate herds of animators. Some notable film and TV projects Rob has worked on include: Escape From Planet Earth, Space Chimps, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Viva Pinata.

Robert Russ
Supervising Animator // Pixar Animation Studios
(Toy Story 4, Toy Story That Time Forgot, Monsters University, Toy Story 3)
Robert R

Robert Russ joined Pixar in 1996 and has worked on many projects in his 23 years at the studio. Most recently, Russ served as Supervising Animator on Toy Story 4. Previously he worked as Directing Animator on Toy Story 3, Monsters University and Toy Story That Time Forgot. Russ also supervised animation on several theme park projects including Toy Story Mania! and Nemo & Friends SeaRider. Additionally, Russ animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Inside Out.

Prior to joining Pixar, Russ directed a short film entitled Card Trick, which won the Student Academy Award® for animation in 1995. He grew up in San Diego, CA., and graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in computer arts.

He resides in Oakland, California.

Robert Valley
Animator Director // Passion Pictures
(Ice, Zima Blue, Pear Cider and Cigarettes)

RobertRob Valley is an award-winning illustrator, animator and director based in Vancouver, whose unmistakable style stands apart with its particularly angled line-work, sharp shadows and selective colour palette. Rob’s career has spanned far and wide: designing and directing a string of Gorillaz music videos, character design for feature films like Disney’s TRON: Uprising, as well as directing commercials for Nike, Levis and Coke amongst others.

In 2017, Rob’s short film Pear Cider and Cigarettes — which he illustrated and animated himself — won an Annie award and was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2019, as part of Netflix’ Love, Death + Robots, Rob directed the critically acclaimed short film Zima Blue and most recently picked up two Emmy Awards — one for Ice, a short produced as part of the same anthology series, and another for his work as Production Designer on that short.

Robert continues to work on a variety of short and long-form animated projects while shooting pool at Carlos O'Bryan's with his homies.

Rose-Ann Tisserand
Founder, Executive Producer // ACE, Flying Kraken Creative Studios
(Zeb's Spider, Pivot, Ostinato, Puddle Jumpers)

Rose-AnnRose-Ann Tisserand is the Founder and Executive Producer of Women in Animation Vancouver’s National Animation Career EXCELerator Program (ACE). ACE’s mission is to advance mid-career women into 8 key creative roles while making a short film and telling their authentic stories. The ACE program has been a passion project for Rose-Ann for over 6 years, successfully completing 3 award-winning short films and advancing 19 women from across Canada in the roles of Writer, Producer, Director, Art Director, Animation Director, Story Supervisor, Editor and Composer.

Rose-Ann is also Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Flying Kraken Creative Studios, a boutique studio that creates original animation content and specializes in award-winning animation design services.

Rose-Ann has worked as a production executive for 23 years in film and television production. She was a supervising producer at Bardel Entertainment and a consulting creative producer with the National Film Board of Canada on Zeb’s Spider. She is currently Executive Producer/Co-Creator of a series in development with Sony Entertainment.

Rose-Ann has been active in the animation industry and women-led initiatives for over 10 years, including sitting on the Spark Animation Leadership Board, Chair of Drawn Together Vancouver, and Executive Advisor and Co-Chair on the WIA Vancouver Board.

Samantha Tan
FX Artist // BRON Animation
(The Willoughbys)

Samantha Tan is a self taught FX Artist. Her passion for FX led her to pursue her career back home in Singapore, where she got her start working on TV shows such as Doc McStuffins, Miraculous Ladybug, Ruff-Ruff Tweet & Dave, and Jack. She then took a deep breath and a leap of faith and moved to Vancouver, where she landed a position on the FX team at Bardel working on Dinotrux. She is now at BRON Animation working on her first feature film, The Willoughbys.

Sergio Pablos
CEO, Creative Director // The SPA Studios
(Klaus, Smallfoot, Despicable Me, Tarzan, Treasure Planet)

Sergio Pablos animation career spans over 30 years. His credits include the development of the original stories on which Despicable Me and Smallfoot are based on, Supervising Animator on Disney’s Tarzan and Treasure Planet, and his most recent role as writer, producer and director for Netflix’ upcoming feature Klaus.

Sergio’s work has led him to be nominated twice to the Annie Awards for his character design work on Rio (Fox Pictures), and for his character animation on Treasure Planet (Disney).

Currently, Sergio continues to focus on the development of original stories and production of feature animation films at the helm of The SPA Studios headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

Shirley Vercruysse
Producer // National Film Board of Canada

ShirleyShirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver, BC, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. The studio’s latest projects include the feature-length musical documentary The Road Forward (Marie Clements); the animated feature film Window Horses (Ann Marie Fleming), co-produced with Stickgirl Productions, and the animated shorts I AM HERE (Eoin Duffy) The Mountain of Sgaana (Christopher Auchter) Shop Class (Hart Snider) and the mid-length documentary Beauty (Christina Willings).

Projects currently in production include the online documentary series, True North (Ryan Sidhoo); short animation The Zoo (Julia Kwan); feature documentaries The Whale and the Raven (coproduction with Whale and Raven Productions) and Sovereign Soil (Yukon based co-production) and mid length documentary featuring the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (John Bolton).

Stephanie Blakey
Storyboard Artist // Atomic Cartoons
(Cupcake & Dino, The Last Kids on Earth)

Stephanie Blakey is the director on the inaugural Five in Focus: Animation Initiative and storyboard artist at Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver where she has worked on the Netflix series, Cupcake & Dino and The Last Kids on Earth. Her previous film, The Last Resort, a female-led, paper cut out animated comedy horror, won the Audience Award at the Austin International Film Festival and played internationally at the Palm Springs International Shortfest, Anima Mundi, Animafest Zagreb, Klik! Amsterdam International Animation Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, SICAF, and more. After attending Emily Carr University for animation, she obtained her Master’s degree in Directing Animation from the National Film and Television School in England and has television series training from La Poudrière in France.

Sue Rowe
VFX Supervisor // Scanline VFX
(Meg 2: The Trench, Slumberland, The Adam Project, Eternals)

SueSue Rowe is a visual effects supervisor with over 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a child, Sue loved drawing, so it was no surprise that she went on to study for a BA in Animation at university. Following this, Sue went on to study for her MA in Computer Animation back in the day when it was all programming! This is where she experienced the creative buzz of Visual Effects, with her first job in the industry on Space Jam with Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny! Sue’s latest project was as Scanline’s co-VFX Supervisor for Meg 2: The Trench, where she brought three huge Megalodons and a T-Rex to life!

Szymon Biernacki
Production Designer // The SPA Studios
(Klaus, Smallfoot)

Szymon Biernacki is a Visual Development Artist and Art Director working on feature animated movies. He was born in 1985 in Warsaw, Poland, where he grew up and studied Architecture until he decided to quit the University and become a full-time Concept Artist and Illustrator. He started with working on animated commercials, cinematics for games (such as Age of Empires Online) and animated series (such as Halo 4 Spartan Ops) before I joined The SPA Studios (Sergio Pablos Animation) in 2013 to work as a Visual Development Artist on his first feature animated movie Smallfoot (Warner Bros.). During his time at The SPA Studios he worked on many projects as Visual Development Artist as well as helping Sergio Pablos develop original ideas for feature animated movies. But the definite highlight is his role as the Production Designer (along with his friend Marcin Jakubowski) on Klaus (Netflix) directed by Sergio Pablos

Teunis de Raat
VP Digital Production, Sr VFX Supervisor // BRON Animation
(The Willoughbys, Henchmen, Mars Needs Moms, A Christmas Carol, Partysaurus Rex)

Teunis De Raat joined Bron Animation in it’s early days in 2012 to lead the digital production of Bron’s first animated property, Mighty Mighty Monsters. In his capacity as the VP of Digital, Teunis has established and guided the strategic development of the animation studio’s organization, production work flows, pipeline, and recruitment of critical key personnel. In addition to his studio corporate VP role, he has initiated the digital production and Senior VFX Supervision of the studios first two feature films, Henchmen and The Willoughbys.

An animation industry veteran, Teunis’ specializations include Character Rigging, FX Animation, Cloth and Hair Technical Direction among others. De Raat’s 20 plus years of production experience includes creative and leadership roles with Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar Canada, ImageMovers Digital, Rainmaker Entertainment, and Dream Quest Images. His credits include: Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, A Christmas Carol, Armageddon, Mighty Joe Young, Mars Needs Moms, Chronicles of Riddick, Queen of the Damned, and Inspector Gadget among others.

Warren Franklin
Executive Producer
(The Addams Family, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Return of the Jedi)

Warren Franklin, Executive Producer, is a global leader of the visual effects and animation industry. As the founder and former CEO of Rainmaker Entertainment, Mr. Franklin created one of North America’s leading independent animation studios. Currently he is producing a slate of animated feature films at Cinesite Studios in Montreal and Vancouver including the recently released The Addams Family.

Mr. Franklin has over 25 years of experience as an executive and creative producer with such industry leaders as Lucasfilm Ltd and has collaborated on projects with all of the major Hollywood studios. For 13 years, Mr. Franklin was a key member of George Lucas’ creative and management team where he served as Group Vice President, managing six divisions, including Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts and Skywalker Sound.

As the VP and GM of ILM, Mr. Franklin spearheaded its growth and dominance as the industry’s premier visual effects company, which won nine Academy Awards during his tenure including The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Return of the Jedi.

Zoe Cranley
Head of CG, Canada // beloFX

ZoeAs Head of CG Canada, Zoe engages in shows from their very initial discussions until their final delivery, and beyond! Zoe is excited to adopt new technologies and resources, giving artists a new and exciting means to create VFX of the highest level.

Whilst being an active member of the VFX and Animation Community, Zoe is passionate about building and growing talented and diverse teams, whereby people can work at their very best in a thriving and enriching environment.

Zoe started her career in 2005 at Double Negative London, subsequently working in the Singapore and Vancouver studios. Her most recent roles were CG Supervisor, Head of Build and Head of CG.

© 2024 · Spark CG Society